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Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto died today, June 6th, 2023
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The Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto, one of the highest representatives of bossa nova and greatly responsible for the internationalization of the genre, died at the age of 83, her granddaughter, Sofia Gilberto, reported on her social networks early this Tuesday:
“Astrud was the real girl who brought bossa nova Ipanema to the world. She was the pioneer and the best.”
Astrud Gilberto (Salvador, March 30, 1940 – June 5, 2023) was a Brazilian bossa nova, samba and jazz singer. Of German father and Brazilian mother, his godmother’s name was Astrud Weinert.
At the age of 22, she voiced the English version of Garota de Ipanema and achieved international fame. The song, a bossa nova anthem , established itself as the second most played in the world, especially by her. I love and will love Astrud forever, she was the face and voice of bossa nova in most of the planet,” wrote the singer’s granddaughter.
Daughter of a Brazilian mother and a German father, Astrud Evangelina Weinert was born in Salvador de Bahia on March 29, 1940, and between 1959 and 1964 she was married to the father of bossa nova , João Gilberto (1931-2019) , from whom she took the last name. A year after meeting him, she began her musical career, and soon after the two moved to the United States, where they produced the album Getz/Gilberto , with Stan Getz.
That work, arranged by Tom Jobim, would catapult bossa nova to international fame, and in Astrud’s delicate voice, The Girl from Ipanema became a hit global . The recording earned her a Grammy in 1965, the first awarded to a Brazilian artist. That year she was also nominated for best new artist, a category that the Beatles would end up taking.
The album The Getz/Gilberto , one of the most influential in Brazilian music, also includes Astrud’s voice in Corcovado , another of her most remembered songs. The overwhelming success of that album perhaps caught the young Astrud a bit off guard, who hadn’t recorded anything until then. His debut in music came in a historic performance in Noite de amor, do sorriso e da flor , in 1960, when he shared the stage with heavyweights of Brazilian music, such as Nara Leão (a friend and promoter of his musical career), Dori Caymmi or Elza Soares.
After her separation from João Gilberto, she began a solo career in which she published 19 albums and won numerous international awards. Before retiring in 2022, he had time to play almost all styles: he sang bossa nova , MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), jazz standards, and American and European classics, and he did so in several languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, which probably made it more recognized outside than within Brazil.
The news of his death had very little repercussion in his native country, evidencing once again a certain indifference of Brazilians towards bossa nova , seen within the country as an “export” genre more associated with what foreigners expect from Brazil than to a genuine national identity.
She received four Grammy Award nominations and won the Grammy for Record of the Year for ‘Garota de Ipanema’.
She won the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992 and was inducted in 2002 into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
Astrud Gilberto was also a painter and was also known for her support with respect to animals; wrote an essay on this topic called Animals, They Need Our Help!!!
The Astrud Gilberto Album (Verve, 1965)
The Shadow of Your Smile (Verve, 1965)
A Certain Smile, a Certain Sadness with Walter Wanderley (Verve, 1966)
Look to the Rainbow (Verve, 1966)
Beach Samba (Verve, 1967)
Gilberto Golden Japanese Album (Verve, 1967)
Windy (Verve, 1968)
September 17, 1969 (Verve, 1969)
I Haven’t Got Anything Better to Do (Verve, 1969)
Gilberto with Turrentine (CTI, 1971)
Now (Perception, 1972)
That Girl from Ipanema (Image, 1977)
Astrud Gilberto plus the James Last Orchestra (Polydor, 1986)
So & So: Mukai Meets Gilberto (Denon, 1990)
Live in New York (MVP, 1999)
Jungle (Magya, 2002)